The breakfast meeting hosted for party leaders by the Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha, Pranab Mukherjee, to discuss the sugarcane issue that disrupted proceedings on the first two days of the winter session remained inconclusive on Monday.

The leaders decided to meet again to sort out the issue before the government brought forward an amended legislation to replace the sugarcane ordinance.

While the government was tight-lipped about the deliberations, Opposition sources said the Treasury benches had two concerns: to nullify the impact of the Supreme Court’s order favouring payment of arrears, amounting to Rs. 14,000 crore, to mill owners by the government; and to make some changes in the Sugarcane (Control) Order to force the mill owners to share ‘windfall profits’ in sugar with farmers.

It seems the Opposition may not oppose such a move, as it will benefit farmers.

It seems the government wants to design a formula that will work out the fair price of sugar, keeping in mind the price paid for sugarcane by the mill owners to growers. If the sugar price is higher, the farmers should also get a share of that ‘windfall profit.’

Apparently, there was no major area of disagreement at Monday’s meeting, but there was not enough time to thrash out the details.

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